Boston harbor seemed like a safe place. There’s only so far you can go before running into land. The exits to the sea are reasonably marked. Taking shelter behind one of the many islands in the harbor is both reasonable and viable. Yet one day stands out even though a decade has passed.
There were ten of us in a thirty foot pull boat. We had sailed and rowed, explored islands, and drifted while silently watched migrating birds. The fall weather seemed almost perfect. Crisp, scattered clouds, and a bit of sun here and there. As the afternoon winds began to pick up our leader paused to note the change. As the shift became more noticeable he encouraged each to be watchful. We were to be on the lookout for any fronts which might be moving through the area.
The air began to shift. It was subtle yet distinct. Even those who were plebes, I counted myself in this group, knew something was about to happen. As we headed for shelter we all knew we were not going to get there in time. As things changed you could feel the tension in the boat mount. The air was almost electric. The command came – sudden yet almost expectedly. “Get in the bottom of the boat. Cover yourselves with the oars where possible, pull the sail up over you.”
In a matter of moments the front hit. The wind jumped to over forty miles an hour. Lighting strikes hit all around us! It was truly frightening. The moment didn’t last long. In less than ten minutes the front had moved on and we resumed our path towards shelter. We were safe. I never want to find myself like that again, on the water, without shelter.
“Look! A king will rule in the right way, and his leaders will carry out justice. Each one will stand as a shelter from high winds, provide safe cover in stormy weather. Each will be cool running water in parched land, a huge granite outcrop giving shade in the desert.” (Isaiah 32.1, 2)
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